The release of The Futureheads’ second album ‘News & Tributes’ was akin to your parents saying: “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.” It was agonisingly frustrating to hear the dark maturity of songs like ‘Worry About It Later’ and ‘Back To The Sea,’ brilliant as they were, when what we wanted was more of The Futureheads’ 2004 debut. Still, had the Sunderland quartet delivered another self-titled debut MKII, their infectious brand of spiky post-punk would probably have been written off as a one-trick pony anyway.
When ties were severed with their former record label 679 following the slow sales of their second album; it felt as though the ‘Heads were destined for obscurity for good. Yet, in one of the most fantastically enjoyable comebacks of recent times, the band’s third album, 'This Is Not The World', has defined The Futureheads as 2008’s champions of indie.
With their backs pressed firmly against the wall, it wasn’t until their comeback gig at King’s College London in late November of last year that their master plan was revealed. Much of the band’s new material was unleashed at this powerfully frenetic, jubilant show with an official online release of lead single ‘Broke Up The Time’ following shortly after. The single’s schizoid mash-up of spikey post-punkery and trademark harmonisation signalled a long awaited return to form and left many pining for more.
Perhaps the best part of' This Is Not The World' however is its control. On songs like the manic ‘Walking Backwards’ and punk rock anthem ‘Think Tonight,’ all the bouncing guitar lines and driving rhythms of their first album are featured in their full unadulterated glory. This time around however, the album’s title track and ‘Everything’s Changing’ the song writing is more purposefully considered at the same time capturing the raw burst of energy that spirited the band onto the world stage in 2004/2005.
There would have been few who expected The Futureheads to come back with something like 'This Is Not The World' even though it seems like the logical light at the end of the tunnel. Frankly, the fact that the band virtually disappeared at some point between 'News & Tributes' and now is what makes their third album so satisfying and enjoyable. And to their credit, 'This Is Not The World' will take its place as a self-released, DIY underground punk classic that has single-handedly saved the career of one of England’s favourite bands.